Army Improves Versus Texas A&M

Army's season started with three disappointing losses to Temple, New Hampshire and Akron.Now, let's be clear, there is nothing positive to come out of a loss. But Army's 21-17 defeat to Texas A&M in front of the 12th man in College Station does provide some glimmer of hope for the rest of the year.

Right now, the Black Knights are 0-4, and have lost 10 games in a row. That isn't going to cut it. But if Army plays as well as it did against Texas A&M next week at Tulane and the following week against Eastern Michigan, Army could be 2-4. The season could actually be salvaged.

Army coach Stan Brock has taken plenty of heat this season on this website, some of it has been warranted, some hasn't. This week, we have to agree with Brock's assessment of the team.

"I was real proud of our kids today from start to finish, " said Brock, 3-13 as Army's head coach, after the Texas A&M game. "We had a great week of practice and we played the way we know how to play. We got out-scored; that's the only negative. There are a lot of positives that came out of this. The turnover before half was big. We would have liked to have had that one back. Our goal was to win the turnover battle today. They had one for seven (points) and we had an interception. Chip (Bowden) is a tough kid and works very hard. He has a lot of room to improve and that's the beauty of it. I'm proud of the way we played and we can continue to get better."

Only a sophomore, Bowden is the biggest reason why there could be hope for Army, if not this year, next season. It looks like Army finally has a legit quarterback and Bowden looks great running the option. Bowden established career highs in rushing attempts (34) and rushing yards (128) in the contest. It marked the first time an Army quarterback has rushed for at least 100 yards since Joe Gerena had 122 yards against Ball State nine years ago when Bowden was just in grade school. Because of Bowden, Army's option looked as good as it has all year.

"I take my hat off to them and to their coaching staff. Coach Brock did a great job with this game," Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said. "We preached about being patient, being patient. Just don't give up the big play. The idea of defending the option is a lot easier than actually doing it."

There were many other legit positives for Army. The talk over the last three weeks has been that Army's defense played well enough against Temple, New Hampshire and Akron to win. That was a stretch, but saying that against Texas A&M (2-2) isn't a stretch. The Black Knights allowed only 10 offensive points.

Army's defense forced Texas A&M to punt without a first down on each of the Aggies' first three possessions. The Black Knights limited the Aggies to minus-four yards rushing on six first-quarter attempts. The Black Knights did not allow Texas A&M its initial first down until the Aggies' fourth possession. It came with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Now, Army, still turnover prone, needs to put a full game together if it wants a win against Tulane.

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